Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Pique leaves football under pressure from FC Barcelona

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Footballers’ lives are a roller coaster of situations that even they cannot control. The fame, the spotlight, the money…everything gets out of control and at an age where they can barely manage their emotions.  

This is what happened to Sergio Ramos at the height of his career. After presenting a documentary with Amazon, the Sevillian entered a spiral of injuries and strange behavior which led to him leaving Real Madrid and having a bad first season in Paris.  

Now it’s Pique who quits his job. Like that big quit everyone talks about, where good workers don’t ask for a raise anymore, they leave the company unceremoniously.  

The Barca centre-back broke when his relationship with singer Shakira exploded and was exposed in all media. Added to this is the historical economic crisis of his club, Barça, of which he is an important element because he was one of the players with the highest salary. Xavi also didn’t have a left hand with his role in the team and, finally, Joan Laporta. 

Pique has always been in control of his footballing life. And it’s strange, because players are slaves to a life that brings them many economic and social benefits, but takes away their freedom. Moreover, Sergio Ramos himself dedicated a tweet to Pique where he says ‘Enjoy life’ in reference to this new stage without the club’s rules constraining him.  

Gerard Pique has left the Spanish national team embroiled in a somewhat unfair controversy. His behavior with his fingers during the anthem or with the flag on his shirt sleeves didn’t help. No more than its ambiguity on the referendum of independence of Catalonia. He always supported his outfit, but did not make it clear that he wanted independence as a good member of a bourgeois family and grandson of Amador Bernabéu, vice-president of Barcelona and delegate of the Federation royal spanish football.  

All this was enough to put an end to his international career which had crowned him as world champion. The most important title in the career of the players who win it and which, curiously, Pique cited as second in his farewell video after becoming European champions with Spain and FC Barcelona.  

His role as a businessman was a constant challenge for Barca. Travels, presentations, media exposure… a free and uncontrollable soul in a Barca that was bleeding white financially under Bartomeu’s presidency. Pique saved the president’s furniture himself by introducing Rakuten as a sponsor and raising a lot of money for the club’s struggling coffers. It allowed him to manage his life beyond training and matches without anyone raising their voices.

Pique wouldn’t have left football if he had started at Barcelona. But the new stage and the stranglehold that Xavi and Laporta put on him was stronger than his desire to wear the blue and white jersey.

Sportingly, Xavi has also shown his incompetence in dealing with what was once his teammate. He was not clear with him and made him face public punishments like the replacement at the Bernabéu after his serious mistake against Inter, which left Barca in the Champions League.  

Laporta didn’t lower his voice either. The president appeared before the members accusing Pique and Busquets of not wanting to reduce their salaries to give economic oxygen to the club. It was another stab in the back that allowed Pique to experience the definitive sign of abandonment: the boos at Camp Nou during the game against Villarreal.  

His image was badly damaged the day the press released audios revealing the shady dealings he had with Luis Rubiales which left the RFEF in a very bad light. Talking about money, prizes, calling Rubiales a “Rubi” or calling himself “Geri” was not appreciated by either side. Pique became judge and jury in an official competition and Rubiales allowed that to happen for the money.  

Now Pique can fully devote himself to his life as a businessman. He no longer has to submit to the schedules of a footballer, he can cycle around Barcelona and go see Formula 1 with his children on any circuit. He will continue to dominate his scene and that of any footballer who wants to put himself in his hands to make decisions, as Griezmann once did.   

If Pique gets fired, Pique leaves and, as he knows the ground he walks on, he leaves in peace because one day he will again occupy the box of the greatest actor of his departure and who knows s he will do in an election. Face to face.  

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